There are very few instances where Personal Assistants (PAs) or Carers can be legitimately considered to be self employed. If you do engage the services of a self employed PA / Carer you must be sure that they have been granted self employment status by HMRC, otherwise you are liable for their tax and National Insurance.
Bear in mind that if they are self employed in another capacity (ie painter-decorator) this does not mean they are self employed as a Carer. Self employment status is granted by occupation rather than per person. If you mistakenly employ somebody thinking they are self employed and it turns out they are not you will be liable for back-payment of tax and National Insurance Contributions plus fines. This can add up to a considerable amount of money so it is important to get it right.
Below are some ways of telling whether a carer is self employed or not.
A worker is considered 'employed' if they:
- have to do the work themselves
- can be told at any time what to do, where to carry out the work or when and how to do it
- work a set amount of hours
- can be moved from task to task
- are paid by the hour, week or month
- can be paid overtime or receive bonus payments
A worker is considered 'self-employed' if they:
- can hire someone else to do their work or engage helpers at their own expense
- regularly work for a number of people
- provide the main items of equipment needed to do their job, not just the small tools that many employees provide for themselves
- agree to do a job for a fixed price regardless of how long the job may take
- invoice their customers
Please note that these lists are not exhaustive.